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By Kat Hayes
March 14, 2018

The Best Late-Night Eats In Melbourne

Minimally regrettable, actually good nosh that you can get on the other side of midnight.
By Kat Hayes
March 14, 2018


Minimally regrettable, actually good nosh that you can get on the other side of midnight.

Your brain knows it as well as your stomach: food tastes a certain way after midnight. And that way is generally "very good". Something happens to your tastebuds (and appreciation for food) post-wines on a weekend. One minute you're happily wandering up Swanston Street on your way to get an Uber and the next you're hit with a craving for noodles. You're suddenly incapacitated in the middle of the street, near tears and Googling "what is open near me". Instead of typing in that (often) ineffective search, bookmark this page to come back to. We see you and your late-night salty food cravings — you are all of us.

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    Stalactites Restaurant

    Stalactites, apart from being a Melbourne institution, is by legend the occasional site of a physical brawl over tables (chairs were thrown in 2014 during an altercation). This, we think, must mean that people over there are serious about their food and where they sit at Stalactites — indeed, late-night gyros is something to be serious about. Uncomplicated, meaty and ready to hit your tum with the souvlaki love it needs at 2am. You should try the lamb gyros ($14) or, if you’re late enough (the restaurant is open 24/7), the brekky souvlaki with bacon, eggs, salads and sauce in pita ($14). It’s a win at any time.

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    Alasya Restaurant

    Alasya sits in the middle of Sydney Road, in Brunswick, and has been kicking around in Melbourne since the ’70s. Owned and operated still by the same family, it does good, solid Turkish food right up until 5am nightly. The menu reduces late-night so you might be out of luck for dips or salads, but if it’s a plate of meat you’re dreaming of, Alasya’s got you. Next time you have a hankering for a kebab, pop in here – get a chicken doner ($16), a lamb sis kebab ($16), or let your hair down and try some mixed meat shenanigans ($17). While the restaurant closes up at 10pm, you can still get takeaway till 5am, seven days a week.

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    Shujinko, also known as the fabled “24-hour-ramen-place-on-Russell-Street” is small, but the ramen bowls are big. There’s a fair chance you may be waiting for a table for a little while no matter what time you go, but believe us when we tell you it’ll be worth it. Pick of the bunch is the original shujinko ramen ($12.80), with chargrilled pork belly, Asian greens and half an egg bobbing away in there — you’ll be slurping to the very bottom of that big bowl. If you’re feeling brave spice-wise, try the karakuchi ramen ($13.80). It’s got two chillies next to it on the menu, which may be what you need to wake you up late at night.

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    Belleville is a little slice of Paris but also a page right out of the Melbourne book. It’s got you sorted with a cool atmosphere, fancy spirits and a requisite hidden dumpster entrance…and it’s also got you sorted when the clock struck midnight a while ago and you’re hungry. It’s all about the rotisserie chicken over here so check out the bird menu (quarter chook $9.50, half $18 and whole $35), free-range salt-brined and miso-butter glazed. It would make even hardened vegetarians waver. While it’s only open till 11pm, Sunday to Wednesday, its kitchen stays opens till 1am Thursday to Saturday,

  • 6

    Heartbreaker knows what it’s good for — recreating a red-neon hued, divey, New York-style late-night bar, complete with a jukebox and booths. Down a coupl’a hard spirits and forget about your recent heartbreak; put some coins in the juke, play a Bruce Springsteen song; and complain about your life to the bartender. He’ll probably distract you from your woes by suggesting pizza — which you should take him up on — by way of resident Connie’s Pizza, churning out some cheesy goodness in the form of New York-style pizza every eve until late. Heal your heart with some pepperoni ($5 per slice, $30 for a big ol’ pie).

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    Massive Wieners does a couple of things very right, and those couple of things involve large sausages. Yup, you heard us – the Chapel Street digs are the number one place for a big hunk of meat cushioned by a fluffy bread roll (6-inch wiener $6 and 12-inch $8). With shakes and loaded fries also late night options, once you add sauces and sauerkraut to these bad boys you’ll be weeping tears of happiness. Extra happy points? There are soy options for the vegans among you. And for those looking to impress, smash down a competition sized wiener (25-inch) in under five minutes and you get it for free. Happy meat munchin’ to ya.

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    Twenty-Pho Seven

    Melbourne, rejoice! No longer will your late-night pho cravings go unsated. Opened in early December, the team behind Hochi Mama has been running Australia’s first ever 24-hour pho joint in the CBD. Pho real. Located on Russell Street in the heart of the CBD, the team is serving up breakfast broth or a substitute for that 4am kebab. In addition to promising “the best pho in Melbourne”, Twenty Pho Seven also serves up an array of Vietnamese entrees – including rice paper rolls, spring rolls and banh mi — and a number of Asian-inspired cocktails served in bubble cup

  • 3
    Supper Inn

    If you’re in need of a Cantonese feast, look no further than Supper Inn — true to its name, it’s got a late-night inn feeling about it and is always packed at any time you end up walking in. BYO bottle of grog and feed on slippery steamed dumplings and noodles until the first train is running – it’s a much better spend of your Uber money. Also good is the rice congee. Basically a bowl of tastier porridge for you to say good morning to the world with, and then go straight to bed.

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    Parisian vibes over here, with alcoves looking over alleyways and many a French aperitif on the menu. Bring a little magic back into the dark depths of your night with Gothic touches and fairy lights, and snack on some French-themed bits, for fancy hungry tummies. Steak tartare ($12), parfait ($12), raclette or croquettes ($3.5 each) all feature at Ampere, and there’s a whole cheese menu for those who wish to partake (it’s never too late for cheese). For even more dairy times, try the ice cream sandwich. For even more daring times, try the range of absinthe.

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    The latest offering from the Grossi family (of Florentino fame), Arlechin is another solid option when it comes to both late night dining and late night drinking . Pick your poison and get them to shake it up in a cocktail to cap off your night on a classy note. Then peruse the menu and forget about leaving because damn it, you have a lot of delicious food options to get through first. Try the sloppy joe ($6), midnight spaghetti ($12) and fried quail ($14). Wash it all down with a wine and start on your next course (maybe the oysters this time?). You might well be here until closing.

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